Another Mom Is Arrested for Letting Her Kid Go to the Park Alone

Illustration for article titled Another Mom Is Arrested for Letting Her Kid Go to the Park Alone

Fifteen days ago, we heard about South Carolina mom Debra Harrell, who was arrested when her 9-year-old daughter was found playing in a park alone. On Wednesday morning, the Today show aired the story of Florida resident Nicole Gainey, who was arrested when her 7-year-old son was spotted walking to a park by himself.


According to Today:

Gainey allowed her son, Dominic, to take the 15-minute walk to Sportsman's Park in Port St. Lucie, a half mile from their home, on July 26. She said he has a cell phone that allowed her to check in regularly with him.

A person at a public pool along the route called police after speaking with Dominic and finding out he was unsupervised. The police picked him up and took him home, writing in the official report that he was alone and "numerous sex offenders reside in the vicinity" of the park.

Gainey told an NBC affiliate that she is "totally dumbfounded" by the situation: "I honestly don't think I was doing anything wrong. I was letting him go play."

Gainey has been told that she should expect the case to be dropped; you can find more information here and here.

Meanwhile, Debra Harrell — who was fired from her job at McDonald's following her arrest — is in court today for a pre-trial hearing; the judge will decide whether or not the case should go before a jury. The fund a stranger set up to help Debra Harrell — hoping to raise $10,000 — now stands at over $40,000.


Image via Today


I understand parents being advised not to do this by law enforcement.

I even get fines, or having social services notified just to make sure the environment is safe. I'm totally down with this being treated as a red-flag.

But arrested? Thrown in jail? How is that at all productive for anyone, ever? I didn't think much could sound stupider to me than the war on drugs, but this is a war on permissive parents might just make the cut.